I – and many other parents – share Sting’s concerns. But proper preparation for inheritance can ensure the assets you leave for your children benefit, rather than impede, the upward trajectory of their lives.
Part of that preparation comes from how you and your attorney actually set up your estate plan. Part of it comes from helping your children develop the critical skills needed before receiving and productively managing an inheritance. There are four main skills nearly all successful inheritors possess:
The ability to earn their own money and live off what they make. Children raised with wealth feel they are the most successful when they earn enough on their own to support themselves without the family money. Children without this skill often develop feelings of entitlement or personal inadequacy which negatively impact their ability to lead productive, meaningful lives.
The ability to set and pursue their own work goals. Children of wealth who are encouraged to find work they enjoy are much more likely to find satisfaction in that work if they are taught that it takes time and perseverance to reach this goal and that they should focus on learning from every job and give it their best.
The ability to develop self-worth that is separate from family wealth. Children who develop a core identity based on their own accomplishments and the choices they make in life are much happier and more successful.
The ability to be resilient and bounce back from adversity. Family wealth can cushion many blows, but the most successful inheritors are those who were allowed to experience and navigate failure on their own instead of being bailed out of every tough spot.
Comprehensive planning, taking all of this into account, can help your children avoid the many dangers and pitfalls inherited wealth can create. And if you’re anything like me, protecting your children from those inherent dangers is just as important as protecting the assets you’ll eventually pass to them. The great news is that proper planning can accomplish both objectives.
As always, I wish all the best to you and your family,